Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

Senior Secondary navigation


You are here:

Developing the key competencies in psychology

Psychology focuses on understanding what is of importance in human behaviour.

Psychology supports development of the key competencies through learning activities that engage, encourage, challenge, and motivate students. Teacher actions foster student inquiry, discussion, understanding, active participation, and reflection.


Psychology challenges students to think critically. It engages students in problem solving, creating knowledge, reflecting on their own learning, drawing on personal knowledge and intuitions, asking questions, and challenging the basis of assumptions and perceptions. Psychology extends students’ thinking by connecting them with a strong body of research.

Using language, symbols, and texts

Psychological research methodologies are based on the effective use of language and other symbolic systems. Psychology emphasises the close reading and understanding of texts. It examines the ways in which we obtain the skills we need to undertake learning processes such as reading and speaking.

Managing self

Psychology builds confidence through building knowledge and understanding of human behaviour. Psychology encourages self-examination and intellectual examination of given or accepted mores.

Relating to others

Much of psychology relies on understanding others and their behaviours. Collaboration requires and encourages active listening to the views of others, while recognising and respecting different points of view.

Students and teachers of psychology aim for open and clear communication conducted in a non-threatening manner.

Psychology encourages innovative and creative thinking through working effectively with others.

Participating and contributing

The study of psychology requires participating in and contributing to inquiry.

Exploring the ‘big questions’ through on-going inquiry creates further motivation to participate and contribute in the classroom and in the wider community.

Professional psychologists and health workers in the community are invited to share their experiences with students.

Universities are at times willing to involve secondary school students in their research, allowing them to experience the research process first-hand.

Last updated November 15, 2017